These instructions have been decided by the Board of Directors of the Grocery Manufacturers of Norway (DLF), and apply to all meetings in the Board of Directors, in the committees, in the trade groups and to any other meeting organized by DLF.
All activities carried out within the framework of DLF should comply with Norwegian Competition Law. The Competition Law prohibits any contract, decision or concerted practice with the goal, or result of, preventing, reducing or distorting competition. In addition, the law prohibits the abuse of a dominating market position in relation to free competition. The Norwegian authorities apply a strict enforcement of legal infringements, and any violation of the Competition Law may result in major fines, fees, punishment and/or liability for DLF and their member organizations.
DLF’s policy is to comply with the competition rules. DLF is committed to avoid any actual or possible infringement of the Competition Law. An act may, if viewed solely, be in accordance with the Competition Law. However, the authorities may on an overall basis consider the act to be a method of operation thus infringing the competition rules.
DLF encourages and take efforts for the member organizations in order to establish efficient competition for the benefit of the consumers. Several members of DLF are competitors, thus calling for special caution within the organization in order to secure compliance with the prevailing Competition Law.
This implies the following:
- There must be no form of contracts, decisions, or concerted practices (neither written or oral), discussions or proposals on distribution of geographical markets, boycotts or distribution refusals, prices, consumer conditions or other aspects of the business strategies of the member organizations. This applies to formal decisions made by the bodies of DLF, as well as informal discussions under meetings organized by DLF.
- Discussions about, or exchanges of confidential and competition sensitive information are not allowed. Among all, this applies to information about prices (actual prices realized or paid, or planned price-changes), as well as information about costs, discounts, promotional activities, production volume, production capacity, terms of trade, customers, market share or future market strategy etc, when the information is not available to the public.
- Historical data, for instance concerning prices, production volumes and commercial terms may be acquired by the administration for distribution to the members in aggregated form for use in the organization’s projects etc. Information about a member, or data capable of identifying a member, may not be distributed. DLF should prepare specific rules in relation to internal or external surveys initiated by the organization, if necessary with the assistance of legal expertise.
- All meetings in DLF shall be executed according to a pre-settled agenda, and minutes of the meetings must be taken. All of DLF’s standards and recommendations to the members are guiding.
All meeting participants have joint responsibility for the neutral frame of the meeting in relation to Competition Law. The participants should know the agenda of the meeting beforehand, and they should inform the chair person if any part of the agenda should not be promoted. If a participant during the meeting presumes that the discussion may infringe Competition Law, further discussion should be dismissed or postponed until legal advice has been obtained. The participants are strongly advised to be cautious in informal discussions as well, such as under meals, breaks etc.
Each member of DLF is under a responsibility to arrange their operations and their participation in DLF-meetings according to the prevailing Competition Law and these instructions.
These instructions have been drafted in co-operation with DLF’s legal advisor, Mr. Henrik Svane, and have been passed by the Board of Directors of DLF on October 2nd 2008.